This sight glass or level indicating accessory takes the guess work out of determining how much liquid is in any of your hot side brewing vessels. It is most commonly installed in hot liquor tanks to measure strike and sparge water volumes, but is also very useful in boil kettles to measure pre and post boil volumes.
While weldless systems have gotten a bad rep amongst homebrewers, this design is different. When installed per instructions, the unit is 100% guaranteed not to leak the first time and any time you reinstall it (no leak reports in at least 5000 units sold).
Models with "K" in them are meant for Sanke Kegs which on close inspection feature a subtle curvature inward as the sidewall approaches the bottom weld. While it is not obvious, this curve would cause most sight glasses to angle away from the keg up at the top. The "K" models feature a couple degrees of angle correction to keep the sight glass tube perfectly vertical when installed at the correct location. The tube is inserted into the bottom fitting at an angle and this is not a defect.
19" Polycarbonate Tubing rated to 250F. Plenty of length for converted kegs.
2" Dial Face Bimetal Thermometer with 4" probe length
High Temp. Silicone Gasket
Stainless eye bolt for securing the tube to the top of your keg
Black Vinyl Numbers for each gallon mark from 2 to 15. (5-60 liter also available)
1. LOCATE the preferred center point for the sight glass bulkhead hole. Make sure the interior stainless steel bushing will not rest against the bottom curvature of the keg. The whole assembly needs to be on a flat area of the side wall. You can find the best vertical position by "dry" fitting the tee against the side wall of the keg and sliding it up and down to observe which location leaves the clear tube most vertical. Mark the location.
2. Drill a clean 1/2" (better) or 9/16" diameter hole in the sidewall of the keg, preferably with a step or “uni” bit. Tip: Start any hole with a small 1/8" pilot hole as most larger bits are not great at getting the initial hole through the metal. Deburr any sharp edges from the hole by either running the step bit from the inside or by using a metal file or sand paper. Be extremely careful working on the drilled hole until the sharp edges are smoothed out.
3.Unscrew the threaded bushing from the elbow fitting and remove the silicone gasket.
4.Insert the bushing through the hole in the vessel from the inside.
5.Push the red silicone washer over the threads on the outside of the vessel all the way tight to the sidewall. (most people ignore this and complain about leaks. We assume that if you're already reading this, you'll probably get it right so thanks for that. Again, the gasket goes on the OUTSIDE of the pot.
6.Hold the tee fitting and tube in front of the threads and turn the bushing from the inside to thread it in. The silicone washer should crush slightly between the fitting and the vessel wall but do NOT over tighten. It is better to undertighten and adjust a bit tighter later if it leaks. Note that the silicone gasket should be the only thing between the fitting and the outside wall of your vessel. You should NOT use teflon tape or any other type of thread sealant on the threads of the weldless bushing. The seal is made with the gasket.
7. Make the tube straight up and down (plumb) and mark a spot to drill the 1/4" hole at the very top of the vessel for the eyebolt. Leave one nut on the eyebolt threads, slip the loop over the top of the sightgass tubing, insert the eyebolt threads into your 1/4" hole, and thread the second nut onto the threads from the interior of the vessel. The distance the tubing is held from the vessel can be adjusted before tightening everything up. On a straight pot, be sure to locate the hole as high as you can without the interior nut interfearing with an inset style lid. On a keg, you can locate the hole at about the middle of the top skirt avoiding the rolled edge at the very top.
Tip: Take the time to make sure the tube is straight. I know you're anxious to get the job done but if you eyeball it badly, you'll regret it every time you brew and see a crooked tube.
CALIBRATION INSTRUCTIONS for all kit types:
1. Level the
vessel, apply a vertical piece of masking tape to the side of the tube,
and add a carefully measure gallon of water at a time noting each gallon
on the tape. Empty the vessel and remove the sight glass. Cut the
number strip into individual numbers, remove the rigid paper off the
number, apply at the correct level on the tube. Remove the clear top
masking leaving ONLY the black vinyl number behind. (It's probably
better to view the video to get this). If you are adventurous, you can
apply the decals directly to the sight glass while calibrating the
level, but we find it's much easier to get a clean straight application
with the tube laying down horizontally.
2. If you make a mistake
applying the vinyl numbers, you should be able to scrape them off with
your fingernail without damaging the tubing. However, do NOT use any
solvents or adhesive removers except for rubbing alcohol on a paper
towel and some elbow grease. Unfortunately if this happens, you'll have
to buy another strip of numbers.
LENGTH TRIMMING INSTRUCTIONS for all kit types:
after initial installation you find the tubing is sticking up past the
top of the vessel, you may want to trim it flush to make it look better
and avoid snagging.
1. Mark the cut line with a sharpie marker or
piece of tape. WARNING, if you are using tape to mark the cut line, be
sure to note which edge represents the cut line or you may cut the
tubing short by whatever the thickness of the tape is.
the kit from the vessel, laying the tubing down on a piece of cloth to
avoid scratching, and cut the tubing with a hack saw or other
fine-toothed trim saw. You can also use a tubing cutter designed for
copper pipe to make a score cut around the tubing and then snapping it.
In either case, you can clean up the cut edge with a piece of sandpaper
wrapped around a block of wood.